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12 US REITs raise dividends in October


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12 US REITs raise dividends in October

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This Data Dispatch is updated monthly. The analysis includes publicly traded real estate investment trusts covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence that are based in the US or Canada and trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq, NYSE American, Toronto Stock Exchange or TSX Venture Exchange.

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Twelve US publicly traded real estate investment trusts declared higher regular dividend payments in October, with a datacenter-focused REIT posting the largest hike, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Approximately 25% dividend boost at Equinix

Datacenter REIT Equinix Inc. disclosed the biggest relative dividend growth in October, raising its quarterly cash distribution to $4.26 per share from $3.41 per share on Oct. 25.

"The increase in our common stock dividend reflects the success and operating performance of the business, and our continued confidence to drive increasing value on a per share basis," said Equinix CFO Keith Taylor.

The most recent increase was Equinix's second dividend hike announcement in 2023. In February, the datacenter REIT announced a 10% rise in its dividend payout.

On the company's earnings call Oct. 25, Taylor said the REIT was able to accelerate the timing of its cash dividend increase to the fourth quarter of 2023 from the first quarter of 2024, considering the company's strong operating performance and historically low adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) payout ratio.

"[W]e expect our annual cash dividend growth rate will track at or above our AFFO per share growth rate for a number of years," Taylor added.

Another REIT that announced double-digit dividend growth in October was multifamily-focused NexPoint Residential Trust Inc., which declared a cash payout boost of about 10.1% to 46.24 cents per share on Oct. 31.

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Outlet center-focused Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. had the third-highest dividend increase in October, upping its quarterly dividend by 6.1% to 26 cents per share on Oct. 13.

During the same month, five other REITs declared dividend hikes of about 4% or more, including shopping center-focused Brixmor Property Group Inc., single tenant REIT Getty Realty Corp., shopping center landlords Kimco Realty Corp. and Kite Realty Group Trust, and industrial REIT LXP Industrial Trust.

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Dividend raises by sector

The dividend hike announcements in October have brought the year-to-date total to 67 US REITs. This accounts for about 42.7% of the entire US REIT industry.

About 72.7% of the industrial REITs announced higher dividend payments since the beginning of the year, the highest proportion of any property sector.

In terms of the percentage of dividend increases relative to the sector's total, residential-focused REITs came in second at about 65%, or 13 dividend hikes, year to date.

Seven Canadian REITs have declared dividend hikes so far, three of which came from the retail sector and two from the residential sector. The office and diversified segments each have one REIT that announced higher dividends as of the end of October.

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